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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1911 magazine technology has taken a few steps forward in recent years, with companies such as CMC, Wilson Combat, and Tripp Research pushing the envelope of capacity and reliability. As a dedicated carrier of a CCO-type pistol, I sometimes feel that the latest technology seems to be a little slow in migrating to the officer’s size market. I have been working on collecting examples of optimal officer’s size magazines, and with the very generous contribution from @TheCollector by way of his Christmas give-away, I think I have enough samples to share some data.

Sub – 5” 1911s are not as tolerant of sub-par magazines as full size pistols are. The reduced slide length equates to reduced mass and higher cycling speed. On top of that, most shortened slides don’t travel as far rearward before rebounding off their frames and returning to feed a new round. This means the magazine has less time to raise the next round into position to be fed. For this reason, I don’t like the idea of 7 round flush-fitting officers magazines. Room for the extra round can only be gained by removing spring length, increasing the risk of magazine feeding failures. If I am to use a 7 or 8 round magazine in a compact, I like to see an extended magazine tube to incorporate the extra round as well as the extra spring length needed to feed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
From left – to – right:

1. Wilson 8 round ETM with officer’s conversion baseplate (https://shopwilsoncombat.com/Base-P...Magazine-for-Compact-9mm/productinfo/47BOX-L/) – Not sure why it is listed for 9mm only; it works for the .45 version as well.

2. Wilson 47D reduced to 7 round capacity with flatwire kit and with officer’s conversion baseplate (https://shopwilsoncombat.com/Base-P...-Size-Magazine-For-Compact/productinfo/47BOX/); (https://shopwilsoncombat.com/Flat-W...CP-Full-Size-Magazine/productinfo/500SFK-8HD/)

3. Wilson Compact ETM – 7 round capacity (https://shopwilsoncombat.com/1911-E...ct-7-Round-ETM-Base-Pad/productinfo/500-45C7/)

4. Tripp Research 7R-45-RO (7 round, removable baseplate (http://www.trippresearchinc.com/7r-45-ro/)

5. Kimber KimPro Tac Mag – 7 round capacity (https://store.kimberamerica.com/7-round-kimpro-tac-mag-compact)

6. Wilson 47 HD/+P – 6 round capacity with steel baseplate (https://shopwilsoncombat.com/1911-M...-Profile-Steel-Base-Pad/productinfo/47OXC-HV/)

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Notably missing – Any CMC products. For no particular reason, I don’t have any of the Chip McCormick officers magazines. I see that they released a compact 7 round railed power mag (https://www.cmproducts.com/Railed-Power-Mag-RPM-Compact-1911-45-ACP-7-Round-Stainless_p_370.html), in addition to their 8 round power mag (https://www.cmproducts.com/Power-Mag-Compact-1911-45-ACP-8-Round-Stainless_p_197.html). If anyone has examples of these two, I would love to see them in more detail.
 

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I've been using the Wilson's in both 9 & 45 in my CCO's with zero issues *knock on wood*
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wilson 8 round ETM

This is currently one of my favorite 8 round magazines, and this one sees regular carry as my backup. While the 47D essentially crams 8 rounds into a magazine barely longer than a GI mag, the ETM provides extra length. I waited for a long time for Wilson to offer an officer’s conversion baseplate for the 8 round ETM like they do for the 47D. I finally noticed that they advertise such a baseplate for 9mm ETM magazines, and decided to try it out on the .45 version. Problem solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wilson 47D

Before finding the ETM conversion baseplate, I decided to upgrade a 47D to be the “optimal” magazine. I installed the officers conversion baseplate, and replaced the spring and follower with Wilson’s flatwire kit. Although this spring appears to be shorter in length, it is quite stiff, and has performed admirably so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wilson 7 round ETM

Wilson finally adapted the ETM philosophy into an Officers magazine, making a 7 round magazine in a length I can trust. Wilson offers low profile steel base plates for the ETM; I may get one and make this a primary carry magazine if it doesn’t protrude too far. Thanks to @TheCollector for generously giving this one to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tripp Research 7R-45-RO

I’ve long been curious about the Tripp Research magazines. The don’t seem to get the publicity of Wilson Combat or CMC mags, but everyone who tries them seems to love them. The minimalist witness hole setup is visually appealing and would seemingly reduce debris ingress while maintaining a stronger tube. The follower, in addition to having a steel-reinforced slide stop engagement point, exhibits grooves and ridges along its perimeter. I suspect this would allow it to function more easily even if debris were to enter the magazine tube. The tube itself is highly polished and very slick. The baseplate attaches to the tube in a unique manner, with grooves on the baseplate locking into slots cut into the tube itself. Disassembly is very easy, as the follower and spring slide freely out the bottom of the tube without having to be twisted past bent rails. Tripp Research offers aluminum baseplates for these, though they retain the large profile of the polymer pads. This would be of no issue if I installed a mag well on my gun, and would make them easy to handle in the role of backup magazines. They seem to hold the top round a little higher and at a greater angle than my Wilson magazines do, and my initial impression is that they will feed more smoothly because of it. I look forward to getting these to the range. Thanks again, @TheCollector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Kimber KimPro TacMag

Kimber would be well served by shipping these magazines with their pistols rather than their current stock offering. Despite being one of the flush fitting 7 round magazines I dislike, it has admirable spring tension and is smooth and well-polished. This magazine also incorporates what I have read as being the Devel-style follower, in which the folded sheet metal of the follower itself acts like a spring. I like that the baseplate is removable. The flush-fit baseplate is difficult to seat even without a magazine well, but I dislike screw-applied bumpers and I find even the thinner bumper from Kimber to be too thick for carry. This magazine has functioned well so far, but I am more suspicious of it as I feel like the spring will have a shorter service life than my other magazines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wilson 47 HD/+P

This has been my primary carry magazine for some time now. The low-profile baseplate minimizes printing, but still gives me sufficient length to seat the magazine confidently. The spring tension is phenomenal, as it should considering its enormous free length. I like the convex follower, as I feel it provides more consistent feeding by simulating an unfired round. The Wilson 47 7 round government magazines established the reputation that Wilson magazines enjoy; I appreciate the reliability this magazine exhibits. It may only hold 6 rounds, but it is my “6 for certain” magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Other notes

· It is interesting that the Wilson magazines all incorporate very parallel and shorter feed lips, while the Tripp and Kimber magazine exhibit longer feed lips that seem to more gradually release the bullet. Both work well for me, but I recommend trying the other if one style presents problems for your gun.

· I like the half-moon cut-out on the back of the magazine for the slide lug to pick the next round (used on the Wilson and Tripp magazines) over the squared cut shown on the Kimber magazine. The feed lips are under constant stress when loaded, I feel like the sharper corners on the Kimber magazine cut introduce stress-riser points in the magazine where cracks are likely to develop. (The black magazine is a standard Kimber GI-ish Government Length magazine shown for comparison)

This concludes my knowledge of Compact magazines. I welcome any additional knowledge or experience that you can share.
 

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Other notes

· It is interesting that the Wilson magazines all incorporate very parallel and shorter feed lips, while the Tripp and Kimber magazine exhibit longer feed lips that seem to more gradually release the bullet. Both work well for me, but I recommend trying the other if one style presents problems for your gun.

· I like the half-moon cut-out on the back of the magazine for the slide lug to pick the next round (used on the Wilson and Tripp magazines) over the squared cut shown on the Kimber magazine. The feed lips are under constant stress when loaded, I feel like the sharper corners on the Kimber magazine cut introduce stress-riser points in the magazine where cracks are likely to develop. (The black magazine is a standard Kimber GI-ish Government Length magazine shown for comparison)

This concludes my knowledge of Compact magazines. I welcome any additional knowledge or experience that you can share.

Thanks for the comparisons.

Maybe I've just been lucky, but for the last 20 or so years, I've been completely happy with stock Colt Officers' mags with the 7 round Shooting Star kits and the screw-on Pachmayr pads. My carry gun has the S&A magwell, from which these mags stand just a tiny bit proud for dependable reloads without printing. I added the pads for this reason, not to protect the mags.

What am I missing that all these alternatives will make better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I dont have any experience with Colt magazines (does Colt source magazines from checkmate?), though I have owned a MecGar 6 round magazine that I really liked. The feed lips began to spread after about a year. Even my stock Kimber magazines, which are almost universally hated, work great in my Custom II. If you get good performance from such magazines, then have at them! It seems that the magazines I mentioned above seem to get the most consistently positive reviews. They are noted for working in a wide range of pistols where other magazines have difficulty. They also seem to tolerate harsh handling well, including being left loaded for long periods, functioning while dirty, and resisting damage when dropped. Hilton Yam has posted some magazine guidance here: https://www.10-8performance.com/1911-magazines/
 

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Wow, this was some great information. I have been carrying CMC Power Mags with Tripp kits, and low profile base plates, in my full size with a Tripp 8 round Cobra Mag as a back up. In my 4" compact 45 I carry a SA 6 round flush original magazine, and a CMC Power Mag with a Tripp kit and an Officers base plate as back up.

My interest in your evaluation is I want to replace my 6 round flush magazine in my 45 compact with an 8 rounder, but have had the same concerns you mentioned in the beginning of your wright up. I have had fantastic luck with all Tripp products, but was wondering how much the 7 round officers magazine with the base plate would extend past the grip. I think from what I see from your photos it might be worth a try buying one for a test. Thanks for all the input. It really helped, and after you carry yours for a while please send some feed back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I prefer a compact grip size for concealed carry due to my body size/shape - I can't conceal a full size frame nearly as well. My attempts to carry the 7 round ETM or Tripp magazine in the gun as my primary have definitely created some concealment concerns. It isn't so bad now during the winter, as my flanel shirts and sweaters make it a non-issue. I can anticipate having problems in the summer, however.

I see two options. I may look into a mag well, specifically this one: https://shopwilsoncombat.com/Bullet...-Compact-Round-Butt-Blue/productinfo/627BCRB/
It isn't cheap, and it would extend my gun's grip a little, but it would smooth out the jutting corners of the 7 round magazines. I really like the large basepads on these magazines for handling (easy to pull from a mag pouch), and the magwell is just the right socket to make them fit nearly flush with the gun.

My other option, which I will likely try, is to get the slim steel baseplate for the wilson ETM 7 rounder: https://shopwilsoncombat.com/Base-Pad-Lo-Profile-Steel-45-ACP-ETM/productinfo/500BLP45/
I tried installing the steel baseplate from my 6 rounder onto the ETM. Obviously it isn't long enough to act as an over-travel stop, but it gives you an idea of how it would look.
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It really isn't much longer at all than my 6 rounder, and initial impressions while carrying it this way haven't given me any concealment complaints.
 

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I have the exact same concerns as you. I noticed the flush fitting Tripp 7 round officers is on sale for $20, due to an over run, so I called Virgil Tripp to discuss reliability in my compact 45. Virgil assured me he hasn’t heard of any issues with this set up so I ordered one to try. I have heard good things about this magazine from other forum members. I’ll follow up after I do a test.
 

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Well I said I'd follow up on my new Tripp 7R 45 WO flush 7 round magazine, and I have shot the heck out of it using 200gr H&Gs as well as my carry HSTs, and I can honestly say I have had no issues at all. I just ordered a 7R 45 RO as a back up for the compact. My Tripp 8R 45 RG is my back up for my full size, and also no issues. I have become a real Tripp fan.
 
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